Google is one of the largest traffic drivers for news websites and, according to the Columbia Journalist Review, its influence is growing as Facebook’s traffic referrals decline.
“But for all the influence Google has in directing attention, we know painfully little about how its algorithm selects and curates news. Which sites does it direct traffic toward? And how does Google’s news curation impact the diversity of information found?” wrote researcher Nicholas Diakopoulos.
He and fellow researcher Daniel Trielli used the Computational Journalism Lab at Northwestern University to audit the search engine’s “Top Stories” to determine what websites received the most help from Google.
The team ran more than 200 search queries of various news topics in November 2017, such as “Colin Kaepernick,” “earthquake,” tax reform,” and “healthcare gov.” The researchers did everything they could to “minimize the potential for result personalization” and ran their queries each minute over a 24-hour period. The result: 6,302 unique links found in Top Stories. The researchers counted “an article impression each time one of those links appears.” (Emphasis original). – READ MORE